Mary Louise Ray

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Louise as she was commonly known, passed away Thursday September 19, 2019 at the age of 80 shortly after 10 pm. with the comfort of family surrounding her at the home of her daughter, Cheryl Darby in Paola,Kansas. Louise, a breast cancer survivor, struggled with respiratory issues notably COPD most of her aging years and finally succumbed after a strong fight, resulting in her death.

Louise’s husband of 52 years, Robert “Bob” Douglas Ray born in Rapid City, South Dakota on Dec.5 ,1938 preceded her in death on December 13, 2012 in Olathe Ks. at the age of 74. Both were cremated in according to their wishes, Louise at the Cremation Center of Kansas City.

Louise was a woman with a constant smile in the company of others, loved to laugh and looked forward to spending time with family. Louise and Bob spent many weekends at surrounding area lakes in their various campers over the course of their marriage. She enjoyed visiting with relatives about old times, eating BBQ ribs smoked by her husband and the company of grandchildren her dog Barney among others before him. A vacation trip to South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana was an experience she talked about often, clear up to the time of her death. Louise will be sorely and deeply missed by those who knew her and those who loved her.

Louise was born on May 19 1939 to Walter Melvin Wade of Havana KS. and Mary  Dora Wade (Houser) of Niotaze KS. in a small 2 room cabin on the Connelly family ranch in rural Washington County Oklahoma. The family later moved to a farm in Stanley, Kansas, where she later graduated from Stanley High School in 1957. Louise and Bob were married on June 3 1960 in Ottawa Kansas. Of that marriage were born 2 children, a son, Melvin Douglas “Doug”, and a daughter Cheryl Leann.

Employed after high school as a secretary at the Power and Light Building in Kansas City, a housewife and an assembly worker for King Radio in both Gardner and Olathe which later became Bendix King Avionics . Prior to her retirement she worked as an administrative assistant at Bendix King in Lenexa, Kansas.  Louise or “Weezie” as her husband Bob often called her, lived in Olathe for nearly 45 years. They resided for a time in Gardner in the late sixties and early seventies. Later in life they spent a few years in Havana Ks. Louise lived in the family home they owned over 40 years up until just weeks before her death.

In addition to her husband Bob, other family members passing prior to her death are her father, Walter Melvin “Shorty” Wade and mother, Mary Dora(Houser) Wade, an older brother, Daniel Walter who died at birth.  Father-in law, Herbert Douglas Ray and mother-in law, Ada Christina (Oakes) Ray of Mountain Home Ark. and a brother-in law Dennis Ray of St. Louis Mo.

Immediate family who live on to cherish her memory are son Melvin Douglas (Doug) Ray 58 and his wife Cecelia of Olathe Ks., and daughter Cheryl Leann Darby (Ray) 57 and her husband Curtis Darby of Paola Ks.

5 granddaughters Aubrey Weaver (Darby) and her husband Chad Weaver of Paola, Abby Jenks (Ray) and her husband Seth of Springfield Mo, Mandy Mcmahon (Darby) and her husband Mark of Paola, Emily Ray of KCMO and Heather Windler (Darby) with her husband Kyle Windler of Paola, and 4 grandchildren by marriage Sage, Zack, Meghan and Austin.

From these grandchildren she cherished a total of 13 great- great grandchildren, 9 girls and soon to be 4 boys.

Brother and sister-in law, Fred and Nancy(Ray)Kirk of Gardner, Kansas with whom they were exceptionally close. A brother in-law Dean Ray and his wife Janet of lake Isabella, Ca. and sister in- law Marsha Ray of Buford, Georgia.  And lastly her cherished dog and companion Barney who was laying in her lap when she died.

An informal celebration of life/picnic will be held at Hilsdale Lake near Paola Ks. Sunday October 20th, from 11am to 3 pm. at shelter house number 1. Grilled lunch, soft drinks and sides will be provided. The family will provide park entry cards, leave a note in comments if need directions to the site.

Please feel free to bring pictures, stories and most importantly laughs remembering the times spent with Louise and her husband Bob.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers or cash donations that you make the time to reach out to others in your life, hug them and tell them just how much they mean to you, as we found with Louise time escapes way too quickly.

At  Louise’s request, the combined remains of her and her husband Bob will be spread near some of their favorite places throughout the country. A headstone will be placed in remembrance of both Louise and Bob at Havana Cemetery, Havana Kansas right next to her father Melvin, mother Mary and infant brother she never met, Walter Daniel.



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